Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, December 03, 2010


This is more of a personal note than I usually write here, but I want people to know what's going on with me. As I have at least hinted, I'm in the process of gradually moving out of my home of more than 20 years, taking stuff one pickup truckload at a time to my country place in Connecticut. As soon as I can sell the property in Boston, I'll get a pied a terre of some kind near my new workplace in Providence. It's obviously done with mixed feelings. My underlying reluctance is making it go more slowly than it needs to.

But there's also something healthy about it. I'm finding out what I have -- a lot of old junk and paper that has existed in my space for years or decades for no particular reason, it turns out. I'm throwing away more than I expected, although it's often a close call. On the other hand, it's just as often the case that I have no idea why I kept something in the first place. For some reason, I had several newspapers and magazines from what, as far as I can tell, were unremarkable days in 1999. A lot will be recycled but a lot will also go to the landfill. At least it's mostly non-toxic, except maybe for all the toner cartridges from an old photo printer that doesn't work any more. (And how the hell do you ethically dispose of electronic equipment, anyway?)

But I'm also discovering things I'd forgotten about, that are worth keeping, and that also remind me of past thoughts, plans, ideas -- some of which, who knows, might be reborn one day. I'm keeping some material that's just autobiographical evidence -- reminders of past events, people I knew, observations of the day.

Anyway, I'll end up not only traveling through life a little bit lighter, at least until the accumulation returns to its present level; and also a little more in touch with myself, a little bit better organized, and if I don't lose momentum, a lot tidier. Still, it's kind of sad.


kathy a. said...

it's hard tossing stuff. when i left my old job, i filled 8-9 giant confidential recycle bins, archived a bunch of stuff, and brought more home -- some of which i've been recycling in fits and starts.

my town has a periodic "electronic recycling" event for equipment. and the big-box office-supply store recycles toner/ink cartridges; probably its local equivalent will for you.

C. Corax said...

There are definitely places around that will recycle electronic equipment. If it's made of plastic, there's not much to salvage and there's nothing ethical about plastic. It NEVER leaves the environment. If the printer is mostly made of metals, then, yeah, someone will be happy to ethically recycle it.

It is hard to let go of a part of one's life. You're doing some tough emotional work when you clean out.

roger said...

we moved 4 times in the last 2 years. there is stuff we haven't seen for that time and more. i can tell which boxes were filled thoughtfully and which were used as catchall trash bins. we were aggressive "document" savers for many years. i think there is a box with very old bank statements. and sometimes we discover a forgotten treasure, a picture or objet'darte.